FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                    May 13, 2015

CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATVIE MIKE ROHRKASTE                                                (608) 266-5719

 Assembly Votes to Approve Rohrkaste’s Drug Treatment Bills

 Madison – Today, the state Assembly voted to approve bills by Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) aimed at helping individuals fight substance abuse and find meaningful employment in Wisconsin.  Assembly Bills (AB) 191 and 192 now head to the state Senate for consideration.

 “Currently in Wisconsin, we have thousands of jobs that are going unfilled and companies are unable to find qualified workers who can pass a drug test,” said Rep. Rohrkaste.  “Both of these bills are aimed at identifying individuals struggling with substance abuse and getting them the treatment they need to be successful members of the Wisconsin workforce.”

 Assembly Bill 191 allows for the screening of recipients in certain job training programs, as well as requiring the Department of Health Services to apply for a federal waiver which would allow them to drug screen individuals in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program (FSET).  Assembly Bill 192 aims at allowing the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to drug screen individuals who are receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for substance abuse.

 “Everyone in Wisconsin who wants a job, should be able to find a job.  It is disheartening to see people with the right qualifications turned away, because they have a substance abuse issue,” stated Rep. Rohrkaste.  “This legislation takes a meaningful step forward to ensuring that Wisconsin’s workforce becomes drug free and gets people to work.”

 Each bill allocates $500,000 for state sponsored treatment to individuals who have failed the drug screening and subsequently failed a drug test.  The intent of these bills is not punitive, but to help individuals successfully transition into meaningful employment.